Breaking News
More () »

Grand Rapids's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Grand Rapids, Michigan | WZZM13.com

Smell that?

Dogs have ability to smell COVID-19.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — We know that dogs are pretty incredible creatures capable of much more than we often give them credit for, in fact they may soon be used to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Researchers in London are training dogs to sniff out COVID-19 with clothing and masks from infected patients.

Nick King is the owner and head trainer at Von Der King Kennels. He also trained 13 On Your Side Paws With A Cause puppy Rae to be a detection dog. 

Credit: Von Der King Kennels

King has experience training dogs to sniff out specific substances through repetition and reward and a lot of time, "With COVID-19 we're targeting different medical things like sweat saliva or urine."

The London researchers are now petitioning for dogs to be trained and used at airports to sniff out passengers that might be infected. But King says there are still some things trainers need to work through before you start seeing dogs in airports sniffing out COVID 19, "Right now the industry is still very new to COVID 19 and we don't actually have a specific scent reference material that is just COVID 19 so currently dogs are pulling scent from humans and dogs need to be able to narrow down the scent for COVID 19 and ignore the different human scent."

Dogs have been used to detect other medical conditions like cancer and diabetes. King says it takes about 8 months to train a dog to distinguish those scents.

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.